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News Briefing for Friday, May 22

HEALTHCARE: Costs trouble Obamacare enrollees “More than one-third of Obamacare enrollees aren't happy with the extra out-of-pocket costs they must still pay for healthcare. Thirty-seven percent of respondents to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Thursday said they're "somewhat" or "very" dissatisfied with their plan's deductible — a set sum consumers must pay for some doctors visits or treatments before their insurer steps in. Those on plans that meet the new requirements under the Affordable Care Act were more likely to report problems with costs — like being unable to pay their medical bills or skipping doctors visits because of cost ...

News Briefing for Tuesday, May 19

HEALTHCARE: ObamaCare Premium Increases Next Year May Shock You “The top ObamaCare exchange insurers in six states where 2016 rate requests have already been filed are seeking to raise rates an average 18.6% next year. Early reports range from an alarming 36% hike sought by the dominant insurer in Tennessee, to a hefty 23% average increase requested by Oregon insurers, to a moderate 7.7% average rise proposed in Connecticut. Flyers promoting Blue Cross Blue Shield and ObamaCare are on display to attract Hispanic customers at a kiosk at Compare Foods in Winston-Salem, N.C.... Flyers promoting Blue Cross Blue Shield and ObamaCare are on display to ...

News Briefing for Friday, May 15

HEALTHCARE: One in four Americans who got insurance still can’t afford medical care: Study “One in four people who bought health insurance on their own couldn’t afford medical care last year, according to a study released Thursday that shows out-of-pockets costs are still getting between Americans and their doctors despite Obamacare’s progress in cutting the ranks of the uninsured. Families USA studied people who purchased insurance in the non-group market — they weren’t covered through their jobs or a public program — in 2014, the first full year for which Obamacare’s marketplace was fully operational, and found 25.2 percent ...

News Briefing for Thursday, May 14

HEALTHCARE: Conservative groups renew pressure on 'ObamaCare exemption' “A coalition of conservative groups want to make sure Congressional Republicans don't let up on the fight to eliminate what they call D.C.’s exemption from ObamaCare. Heritage Action for America and Club for Growth are among a half-dozen groups that have joined a campaign called the “No D.C. Exemption,” according to a release shared first with The Hill. The effort is spearheaded by the right-leaning organization, the U.S. Health Freedom Caucus. The groups are looking to drive up support for a two-year-long investigation into how members of Congress pay for ObamaCare, ...

News Briefing for Thursday, May 7

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Tea Party's Jenny Beth Martin Sizes Up Fiorina, Carson, Huckabee “With three new entrants into the Republican presidential field this week, Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin gave her thoughts to Newsmax TV on Monday about how each would fare with the tea party wing. "Any of them are going to be better than what we will get with Hillary Clinton," Martin said on "Newsmax Prime." "She is from the past, and it's time for someone who's going to be looking towards the future."…” http://www.bayoubuzz.com/politics/us-politics/item/872135-tea-partys-jenny-beth-martin-sizes-up-fiorina-carson-huckabee GOP Rep. Ron ...

News Briefing for Tuesday, May 5

HEALTHCARE: Obamacare exchanges are not cheap to build or run “In its next Obamacare-related decision, the Supreme Court will decide whether employers in states that chose not to establish their own Obamacare exchanges can be forced to pay penalties for not offering insurance the government deems acceptable. The case is somewhat complicated and based on textual questions and legislative history. But if the court rules that the phrase "established by the state" means what it looks like it means, this will bring a small dose of chaos to up to 37 states that now rely on the federal exchange — the infamoushealthcare.gov. A majority of those who ...

News Briefing for Tuesday, April 28

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Opinion Journal: The Tea Party Agenda for 2016 “Tea Party Patriots President and Co-Founder Jenny Beth Martin on her organization’s policy priorities.” http://www.wsj.com/video/opinion-journal-the-tea-party-agenda-for-2016/E59A1D0A-F0A5-4790-B841-689DD78DACB5.html   Tea party lawmakers: Republican leaders are punishing us for defying them (Photo and caption) “U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) (R) greets attendees as he arrives to speak at the Tea Party Patriots 'Exempt America from Obamacare' rally on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, September 10, 2013.” http://www.businessinsider.co...

News Briefing for Monday, April 27

HEALTHCARE: Obamacare Leaves Behind Millions Of Lower Income Workers “Despite being designed to help the poor, certain aspects of Obamacare are holding millions of individuals back who fall into what is being called the “coverage gap.” Reverend Vann R. Ellison, the president of the Florida based St. Matthew’s House, is trying to bring attention to the issue which he says affects people that fall between the $10,000 and $12,000 a year income range. St. Matthew’s House, which takes care of roughly 1,500 people, provides food and shelter to those individuals trying to work their way out of poverty. “We generally deal with lower income ...

News Briefing for April 25

HEALTHCARE: ObamaCare penalty could be too low, analysis finds “A new analysis highlights that it is often cheaper for people to pay ObamaCare’s penalty for not having health insurance than to buy coverage, meaning the penalty might be too low to spur middle-income people to get covered.  The analysis from the consulting firm Avalere Health finds that for people making less than 200 percent of the poverty line, or about $23,000, purchasing insurance is usually cheaper because of income-based subsidies under the law. The penalty for not having health insurance in 2015 is $325 or 2 percent of income, whichever is greater. But for healthy ...

News Briefing for Thursday, April 23, 2015

HEALTHCARE: Another Side Effect of Obamacare: Increased Food Stamp Enrollment? “Expanded Medicaid under Obamacare could be responsible for more people signing up for food stamps, the Associated Press reported. That’s because so many state agencies are making it simpler to enroll in multiple government assistance programs at once if they are eligible for Medicaid. In New Mexico, enrollment for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, grew by 5 percent in 14 months. “We attribute the increase in SNAP to Medicaid expansion,” New Mexico Human Services Department Deputy Secretary Sean Pearson told the AP. ...